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The Secret Ella

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- Unpretentious, pristine property
- Located in a thriving tea plantation
- Hiking, birdwatching, plantation tours
- Archery, helicopter rides

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The Secret Ella is a simple, well-managed bungalow resort in a particularly enviable location. It’s set in an expansive 10-acre tea garden estate up in the mountains with fabulous views and looks down on the Nine Arches Bridge. This bridge, which is nearly a century old, is very well preserved and is regarded as one of the finest surviving examples of colonial-era railway construction in all of Sri Lanka. The hotel is one of two in the Secret Hotels chain – both are unpretentious, characterful properties which are well managed and offer convenient access to some of Sri Lanka’s most popular and highly rated attractions.

There are five room categories altogether, ranging from pristine, wooden Garden Chalets to expansive Family Suites and finely appointed Deluxe Rooms. All rooms are substantial in size, and come with 14-hour room service and a helpful personalised butler service, along with an LED TV with satellite channels, deluxe bathroom amenities and tea and coffee making facilities.

The hotel lies within the Sutherland tea plantation estate and is roughly half an hour’s drive from Bandarawela, a large town best known for its bustling market. While the property is a secluded hideaway of sorts, it’s still well within reach of the area’s top attractions. There’s a diverse range of activities to enjoy from hiking and bird watching walks, to tea plantation tours, archery sessions and even helicopter rides.

The restaurant serves an imaginative array of local delicacies with a twist, along with plenty of popular international dishes. All food is freshly prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Other on-site amenities include a smallish rim flow swimming pool, a games room with several board games available and a DVD library. Those looking for a massage can visit the nearby 98 Acres - a complimentary shuttle service runs between the two properties.

Children of all ages are welcome to stay here. Families travelling with young ones are advised to book the Family Suite and there is a playground for children to enjoy.

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What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 536 reviews


  • I would like to say a massive thank you for organising our Vietnam trip. The itinerary and execution were superb, as was the attention to detail. I would also like to thank the agent who was on the end of my whats app chat (I have no idea who they were!) – always available, always quick to respond, and kept me updated regarding times etc. Also, the guides Dan (north) and Tien (mid) were just excellent, and we really enjoyed their company. The lady (whose name I have forgotten) who was our additional guide for the DMZ day was exceedingly good and made that day very special.

    Missingfiona g reviewing Complete Vietnam For Families on 15 April 2024

  • Trip was great and all the arrangements were excellent so thank you for all the help!

    Drivers and transfers were all good - on time and very good service on each trip.

    Accommodation was lovely - Douar Samra was amazing (weather could have been better but lovely regardless). Riad in Marrakesh was also great!

    All in all a great trip and we loved the variety of the mountains, Marrakesh and the coast.

    Thanks you once again!

    MissingHardeep S reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 15 April 2024

  • I was also just about to email you to thank you and the team for arranging yet again, another wonderful experience.

    Mount Kenya was spectacular and wild - I think I prefer it to Kili in many ways. The entire support team was professional, friendly and all round fantastic in making sure that we were safe, well fed and well looked after. In particular, we would commend Peter the guide as well as Paul one of the porters who doubled-up as his deputy on summit day. Our route was often shrouded in mist and rain that rapidly gathered in the valleys and moorlands, and we were very impressed at how Peter managed to navigate us safely through all of that notwithstanding. In addition, we loved learning about the history of Mount Kenya from him in the evenings. And ofcourse, I was blown away by the lovely birthday surprise at the end complete with balloons and a delicious cake that had journeyed with us from day 1. One thing we might recommend because of the sudden change in weather (it would sometimes get extremely cold and wet) is for the equipment list to be a little bit more detailed in terms of its recommendations e.g. layers to be moisture-wicking, walking boots be waterproof, doubling up on socks to avoid blisters etc.

    El Karama is a beautiful conservancy and the lodge a true labour of love. Great hospitality in a relaxed environment. Delicious, fresh food. We enjoyed the drives, even if we didn't see much wildlife as the heavens opened on us for the last two outings. However, since it was very much geared towards families, I am not sure if I would stay again without kids. That said, I think it was perfect for a 3d/2n stay post mountain, and a much better choice than flying to the masai mara given the limited time we had.

    Our transits were smooth. Samuel the driver was always on time, drove safely and kept the vehicle clean.

    So it was a brilliant experience and one which I certainly will cherish for some time to come. It was great to work with you for a third time, and I certainly hope it won't be the last

    MissingJuhae C reviewing Mount Kenya Sirimon Naro Moru Trek on 01 March 2024

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